Milwaukee Irish Fest 2007 - Friday
Starting from the left we have - Shane Makem, Liam Spain, Rory Makem, Mickey Spain and Conor Makem.
One hundred thousand welcomes to you to my official blog of all things Irish from me, Diane Byrnes, host of the Echoes of Erin radio show on WEDO Radio 810AM.
A group of eight of us from Pittsburgh traveled to the Milwaukee Irish Fest. Here are some of us as we wait to purchase tickets.
These three fellows are members of The Barra MacNeils out of Nova Scotia. Another talented group of musicians.
Saturday night was a wicked night with heavy rains; most of the bands scheduled early did perform but the groups scheduled later were cancelled. This picture is of The Elders out of Kansas City. Their show is really exciting and upbeat.
This was a night time view of Milwaukee from the Henry B. Meier Fairgrounds just off the water.
Actually this shot here of Scythian was taken on Sunday afternoon. The rain was still with us and the Leinie Celtic Rock Stage seems to get hit first with the wind and rain. That happened here on Sunday. Scythian were trying to do an acoustic set, however it was so difficult as it is quite a large area. These fellows really did an exceptional job! They were tested on their entertainment skills; I think they superceded all expectations. They had a bit of help from Kirk McLeod of Seven Nations and a couple of other fellows.
Scythian are entertainers, plus I knew I would see them in Pittsburgh on Wednesday after Irish Fest.
Also on Sunday, I stopped off at the Celtic Roots Stage and heard Ladies of Longford. They were quite a pleasant suprise. The Ladies are comprised of Mother and two daughters plus two additional women. Very enjoyable!
This is the end of Saturday and a bit of Sunday.
Today is the final day of the Milwaukee Irish Fest. Although it rained most of the day, first a soft rain, then at times more blustry. But now, aren't we wash n'wear? What is a bit of rain with so much brilliant talent about the place!
Cherish The Ladies had a brilliant show Sunday night; it was a 'Reunion' with Cathie Ryan, Aoife Clancy, Donna Long, Donny Golden and with Joanie Madden at the helm, they were outstanding. Plus Joe Madden on button box sat in for a couple of tunes. Joanie is 'Cherish'; she is so funny and has such great rapport with her audience. Talk about a character; that's Joanie! She is just adorable and has been very successful in assemblying such great talent.
This shot we see Joanie playing flute and six dancers.
Here is Donny Golden, still dancing after all these years and he is still brilliant; I love watching him dance. Joanie was so funny in her introduction of Donny Golden; it's a good thing they are such good friends!!
Eddi Reader performed all weekend at the festival; here she jumped in with a song and got out just as quickly to set up for her show over at the Celtic Roots Stage. I heard so many wonderful thoughts on her performances. This guest spot with CTL was the only time I heard Eddi live; and it was lovely.
After the show I was fortunate to catch Joanie and Donny!
Here is another good buddy from Cleveland, Ohio - Roger Weist. Roger is very active with the AOH plus he has broadcast his own Irish radio program for many years. A great guy! He just loved seeing Cathie Ryan, so of course, I had to snap them!
Cathie Ryan is a marvelous singer with a good sense of humor as well!
A real special treat for me was to see Maureen Doherty, in from County Longford, and playing flute with CTL. Maureen was one of the original women in CTL. She fell in love, got married, had babies and they all moved to Ireland. She is happy as a lark and looks wonderful! Here she is with John Murphy from Philadelphia; another long time friend of mine.
Later in the evening I heard Beoga out of County Antrim. I have aired their CD which is so exciting and full of energy; I really wanted to hear them at the festival. I was delighted. This first shot is Niamh Dunne on fiddle and vocals - beautiful! Eamon Murray is a superb Bodhran player - he had the drum singing!
This shot has Liam Bradley at Piano and Sean Og Graham on Button Accordion and Guitar - both excellent.
This last picture is Damian McKee on Button Accordion - another very talented musician and Eamon Murray on Bodhran. Eamon had a good few jokes for the audience.
I thought Beoga was really good and entertaining; they have a ways to go, but I think they have what it takes to succeed in the music business.
Here we are at the end of the evening, the end of the festival for 2007. I went off to the 'Scattering' but did not take pictures due to the rain. Joanie Madden led the troupe in reels and jigs and all the dancers 'reeled the stage' until Brian O'Cuinneagain performed his brilliant sean-nos dancing.
Tom Sweeney led the 'sing-song' with the songs of Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers. Tom informed us that all week end long, no one sang 'Four Green Fields', Tommy Makem's song. He told us that each time Tommy Makem sang the song, he prefaced it with a poem. He then said he would recite the poem and Rory Makem would sing 'Four Green Fields'. Oh my, what a job he did! He made his Father proud! It was a very emotional moment for so many folks, both on stage and in the audience.
I sincerely hope Shane, Conor and Rory Makem incorporate 'Four Green Fields' in to their repertoire of songs; who better to sing the song, then the sons of the maker?
Well it is the very end of the night and time to enjoy the fire works! Here are a few pictures.